The Federal Elections Commission’s fines of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee for concealing payments for the anti-Trump Steele dossier at the center of the Russia collusion hoax have been described as a slap on the wrist.
The Clinton camp must pay only $8,000 and the DNC just $105,000.
But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, a lifelong Democrat, argues in a column Thursday that it’s “the basis” of the FEC’s penalties “rather than the size of the fine that is so notable.”
On Tuesday, the FEC announced it found that payments from the Clinton campaign and the DNC to the company that oversaw the work of former British spy Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, were funneled through the law firm Perkins Coie and Elias.
The Clinton campaign denied funding the dossier. But the FEC found that the payments were concealed as “legal advice and services.”
Perkins Coie, commissioned by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, paid Fusion more than $1 million for the dossier in 2016.
Turley pointed out that journalists discovered the Clinton campaign had lied about the payments weeks after the 2016 election campaign, hiding them among $5.6 million in “legal fees” paid to Perkins Coie.
When New York Times reporter Ken Vogel tried to report the story that the campaign lied about the funding, Marc Elias – the former general counsel for the Clinton campaign and partner at Perkins Coie – “pushed back vigorously.”
Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote: “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”
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